One day after Gordon Hayward suffered a gruesome ankle injury that may end his season minutes into his Celtics debut, Jeremy Lin was forced out of the Nets’ season-opening 140-131 loss to the Pacers with a horrific leg injury of his own Wednesday night.
Lin appeared to injure his right knee after landing awkwardly following a driving layup attempt with 4:53 left in the fourth quarter.
Lin immediately grabbed his right knee before grimacing in pain and collapsing to the court in tears.
The 29-year-old point guard was assisted back into the locker room, limping heavily.
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reports there is “tremendous concern” regarding Lin’s injury.
Lin, who played in just 36 games last season due to multiple hamstring injuries, will have his right knee evaluated in New York Thursday, according to Wojnarowski.
Lin finished with 18 points on 5-for-12 shooting from the field. He also had four assists and went a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.
The Nets were trailing 126-118 when Lin got hurt.
Lin signed a three-year, $36 million deal with the Nets in 2016.
He averaged 14.5 points and 5.1 assists in his injury-shortened campaign last season. He shot 43.8% from the field and a career-best 37.2% from behind the arc.
The Nets were hoping Lin and recently-acquired point guard D’Angelo Russell could form a high-scoring backcourt tandem to potentially build around.
Russell will now most likely serve as the team’s primary ball handler with second-year guard Caris LeVert or Allen Crabbe starting at shooting guard.
Russell did his best to lead Brooklyn in his debut, scoring 30 points.
Trevor Booker finished with 20 points and 10 rebounds, but it wasn’t enough to prevent the Nets from losing a franchise-record fifth consecutive season opener.
Brooklyn led 30-29 after one quarter, the Pacers took a 65-63 halftime lead and then used a 10-0 third-quarter run to build a 75-65 lead. Brooklyn never led again.
But the Nets charged back in the final minutes, trimming a 10-point deficit to 130-126 before the Pacers finally managed to close it out.
With THE ASSOCIATED PRESS